Does Michael Bay Care About TRANSFORMERS Fans?

by on July 1, 2017

in bruce's thoughts, Entertainment

Transformers The Last Knight movie review

Have you ever taken a moment to notice that Transformers movie editing is taking a back seat to the mentality of sandbox logic play these days?

Do you know why critics hate Michael Bay‘s Transformers film franchise? Because the final, edited product that hits theaters is crap. The final editing is so bad in most of these films that I must surmise that Michael Bay and his production teams must not give a crap about the movie-goer.

Transformers toys, movies and more…

Warning, a few The Last Knight spoilers ensue, here and there. Nothing big, but still…

Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious that Michael Bay loves making a specific kind of action film and it shows. But the way they construct the final product of the scripted story feels like they come up with different plot points and haphazardly shove them into his action filming.

But the problem is not necessarily the editing. The real problem is that while film consumers continue to spend money to go see the movies and buy the latest toys, Paramount, Hasbro and Bay have no reason to improve upon the issue. Period.

But more than the critics are taking note, considering that it’s made almost $270 million domestically in its first 10 days or so, but it’s strongest fan base has given it a 5.3/10 on IMDb, while the critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes sits at a paltry 15%.

Let me demonstrate what I’m seeing.

In Transformers The Last Knight we seemed to have a multitude of different stories and franchise plot points with our focus jumping back and forth between these different stories. And to be honest, that’s fine. There was a lot to tell that ranged from character and society updates from the last film, to the new stories, characters and events introduced in this film.

But the editing of the story feels so disjointed and abrupt at times that it takes turning a blind eye or a massive leap of faith to accept and understand that we’re being shown important moments where eventually all the strings of the plot will come together for the third act.

And when this is done, sometimes we accept it in a film and move on. But when it’s done over and over and over again in a single movie or across multiple movies in a franchise, it feels like lazy and cheap editing.

This disjointed, poorly delivered story telling assaults our sense of story flow, logic and plausibility and this is why I feel like Michael Bay is barely mailing it in. And this is why critics take offense to these films and in a way, to his lazy story telling and the Transformers movies.

In The Last Knight there were so many moments, scenes and jacked up franchise canon that there are almost too many to put on ‘paper.’

In one example of no connective editorial story glue Vivian, played by the beautiful Laura Haddock, (Who at first looks a lot like Megan Fox at first) went through at least five costume changes, where some outfits just instantly appeared between scenes while other changes were shown and they were barely explained why they occurred. Admittedly, some of the changes made sense, but it’s left completely to our imagination to sort out how and why. To be honest, if I were in a world-ending tragedy, I’d stick to the same jeans and just get it done! Right?

Then we are shown how Bumble Bee has some kind of new skill or talent that just came out of the woodwork, with no explanation. Except, it felt like Bay might have seen the third Iron Man movie and was inspired by how Stark’s armor would fly together to form Iron Man. Just saying.

Another example includes how In the first Transformers (TF) film, we had a story evolve around Sam Witwicky, his glasses, his grandfather and the Autobots coming to Earth while Decepticons laid in wait. Particularly when Megatron wakes up and summons his lackeys.

After that the story evolved out of this first film and into the canon of the franchise, this canon was tossed out the window for the latest explanation for The Last Knight’s backstory. It even hinted that the Witwicky’s were part of a lineage of humans charged with protecting the Transformers from being exposed to society and that the Witwicky’s were dead. Or at least that could be surmised by how Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) says he is the last living human descendant of these guardians. This would imply that Bay killed off the Witwicky’s for some reason, way way off screen.

There were multiple moments of fragmented story, “magical” transportation issues between settings and so many more unexplained transitions that I can’t help but think Bay really says f*k you to the audience. I mean come on, our heroes enter an abandoned, destitute town in South Dakota and come out on the other side of the building into a populated, New York looking city. I mean seriously? They did a lot of that kind of scary scene transition in the second film and they’re doing it again.

Back when the second film came out, there were some huge editorial gaps between settings that screamed at the viewer. But we could ignore most of them as we were distracted by the ensuing, massive action scene. Or we just made huge assumptions that some very lengthy period of time just took place that we didn’t need to see.

But I think something happened at that point, when the production staff started to realize that they could get away with crap like this, dropping the connective details between scenes and still made a bundle of money cheating the story for the final product.

And then it hit me right upside the face during The Last Knight, just how Bay and his production team were taking advantage of our love for the franchise and has started mailing it in, as far is editorial glue went. It’s like when we were kids playing in the sandbox with our plastic Army men and we used to change their roles or settings instantly to account for our whimsical imaginations when they got fickle and wanted an instantly different setting or battle.

This is why I feel like Michael Bay seems to be mailing it in and not caring how we will percieve the films. I mean, to be honest, The Last Knight had four credited screenwriters and six or seven credited editors! Did they even work in the same room together or even communicate or have one person manage their end-product?

Paramount and Hasbro has this entire Transformers Cinematic Universe planned out, along with a bevy of quality writers filling the writers room. But for them to succeed at this grand scheme, the next film will have to be just as fun for our imaginations to grasp ahold of and still satisfy the film critics with a coherent story and plot. I mean, sure, it’s all sci-fi and fantasy, but even the most far-fetched stories need a decent story telling.

For me, after seeing what critics that I even trusted bash this film, I dropped all plans to see The Last Knight. Period. But the film literally fell into the lap of my schedule where I was going past a movie theater, was having a shitty week, had three hours of free time to kill, had some cash in hand and saw that the film was starting in about 15 minutes. So I went to see it.

But because what “my” critics were saying, I also chose to see the 2D version for the first time in my history of watching this film franchise, which I always felt deserved experiencing in 3D. And because of that, I also caught the cheese ball moments in this film that were aimed at those who might have seen the film in 3D. Sigh.

If, for the umpteenth time, what Michael Bay said was true, that this is his last TF film, I would like to think that Paramount will hold him to that and get someone else on board who likes logistical connective story logic. Hell, even Alice in Wonderland shows all the walking between scenes. Hello!!!???

Please.

My summer popcorn sense of fun enjoys these films, but they’ve stretched my ability to accept shitty story telling to its limit, as, from what the IMDb score suggests, so have many others.

Paramount… if you want to save the franchise so that it continues to make its billions, you know what to do.

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